A career in care and support work can be rewarding, have excellent prospects and develop your skills. There are several routes to take that share some common ground but have specific requirements and duties and different environments. One job role that you’ll come across is a position as a live-in carer.
In this guide, we answer the question: What is a live-in carer? To give you a better idea of whether it’s the right role for you, we also look at the key duties of a live-in carer and explore what a live-in career job description could include.
A live-in carer helps people to live comfortable and independent lives in their own homes. Since the people who need help often require a significant level of support, the carer lives in their home with them. The main purpose is to enable people to maintain their quality of life within their homes instead of an assisted living facility or care home.
As a one-on-one carer, anyone in this role will be able to shape the tasks and their day around the person being supported. The job varies depending on the person but typically involves activities that are part of daily life, including domestic chores, personal care and companionship.
Many types of people require a live-in carer. The one thing they usually have in common is that they require a significant amount of support with tasks throughout the day. Some people also might need support at night
One particular group of people needing live-in carers are older people. Other support needs could include disabilities, such as cerebral palsy. In some cases, a live-in carer could support more specialised needs. For example, people with dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or other ongoing medical conditions.
Live-in carers support people in their daily lives to improve their quality of life, just as other types of care and support workers do.
Since you’ll be staying in the home of the person you’re supporting, your duties will fit a timetable that’s tailored to them. It means you could take breaks at different times of the day, and some of your duties could involve companionship and emotional support alongside practical tasks.
Many other care and support jobs mean working in a team and supporting several people in one day or at night. A live-in carer often works alone most of the time, but shares the duties with cover as required. The role is focused on the needs of one person.
A live-in carer tailors their tasks to support the needs of the person they are caring for. The tasks can fall into several different categories. One particular aim is to ensure that the person has a comfortable and clean environment where they can relax and feel secure. Changing bed linen, shopping, gardening and cleaning can help to achieve that.
Diet and nutrition can play an important role in health and quality of life. Preparing meals and taking dietary requirements and medical conditions into account can be part of a carer’s duties. Arranging trips, supporting people to get out of the house and move around as well as companionship and support can also be part of the role.
Let’s take a closer look at the potential duties of a live-in carer.
While each live-in care job is different, there are some common tasks that you could complete in the role.
In some cases, with appropriate training, additional tasks on top of the key duties of a live-in carer could include:
Although you might be in the house 24 hours a day, you don’t work for all of that time. Hours for live-in carers can vary, for example you might work eight or more hours with breaks throughout the day. Most organisations recommend taking 14 hours of breaks spread across seven days. If the needs of the person are significant, you might work in shifts with another carer.
Time off is usually arranged in longer stretches with cover arranged with another live-in carer taking over the duties. Supporting people works best when there is familiarity, so most circumstances involve a team of two to provide consistent and continuous care.
Some circumstances and medical conditions require specialist care. In that case, a live-in carer role might request specific training or medical qualifications, including a background in nursing.
In some cases, experience with certain conditions helps. For example, knowing how to meet the needs of people with dementia. All live-in carers need to be good communicators, compassionate and flexible.
A role as a live-in carer is incredibly fulfilling. It enables someone to live an independent and comfortable life. It also draws on several different skills beyond the practical elements, allowing you the opportunity to provide companionship and emotional support.
The role involves being flexible, requires you to live in the person’s house and can involve long hours. Therefore, your circumstances must allow you to commit to the position.
Interested in becoming a live-in carer? Have a look at the roles available today.